At e-Literate we mostly avoid blogging about our consulting work through MindWires Consulting, but we have an opportunity with our work for California’s Online Education Initiative (OEI) to share information with the higher education community on a topic of growing importance. The OEI is California Community College System’s approach to help individual colleges collaborate with their online courses and programs, including a OEI Course Exchange to be launched this Fall in pilot mode that will “allow students to register for online courses across participating colleges without requiring students to complete separate application and matriculation processes”.
Last year we at MindWires helped OEI select a Common Course Management System (yes, they use the CMS language instead of LMS) by providing market analysis and facilitating the group decision-making process. This year they asked us to review similar efforts at other consortia in the US and Canada. The point of a CCMS is not the technology platform itself but rather what the common e-learning infrastructure could allow a consortium to do – address issues such as course redesign, professional development, student support, etc. Even though the OEI was based on selecting a common system from the beginning and has experienced significant adoption already, there is still a great deal of value in learning from others that have gone before. We are releasing the result of this work with the report – “A Retrospective on Implementing Course Management Systems: Motivations, Benefits, Drawbacks and Recommendations“.
While I contributed to the report, O’Neal Spicer from MindWires and Michelle Pilati from OEI are the primary authors. They interviewed staff and leadership from 10 different organizations that have implemented a common CMS, deliberately chose not to do so, or support such groups. The interviewed groups include:
- The State University of New York
- Utah Education Network
- Mississippi Virtual Community College
- University of Wisconsin System
- Virginia’s Community Colleges
- Colorado Community Colleges Online
- WICHE Cooperative for Education Technologies (WCET)
- British Columbia Campus (BC Campus)
- Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA)
- Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium
The report explores what the initial motivations were for these groups to select a common platform, the benefits that have been realized, the drawbacks consortia face, the challenges in implementation, and recommendations for those groups considering similar choices.
You can view and download the full report here:
Update: Fixed page number error